Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press

The Spoils

by Jesse Eisenberg

The hilarious and poignant third play by award-winning actor, playwright, and writer Jesse Eisenberg, The Spoils continues Eisenberg’s exploration of the privilege of the young straight white male.

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 112
  • Publication Date July 14, 2015
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2390-9
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $16.00

About The Book

A New York Times Critics’ Pick
Winner of the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation Theatre Visions Fund Award

Jesse Eisenberg’s third play, The Spoils, which was given the Theater Visions Fund Award, cements his reputation as a talented playwright whose tragicomic work explores questions of American privilege and the nature of family and relationships. The Spoils will have its world premiere in New York in May 2015, directed by Scott Elliott for the New Group’s inaugural season at the Pershing Square Signature Center. Eisenberg will play the lead role, and Kunal Nayyar has also been cast. Nobody likes Ben. Ben doesn’t even like Ben. He’s been kicked out of grad school, lives off his parents’ money, and bullies everyone in his life, including his roommate, an earnest Nepalese immigrant. When Ben discovers that his grade school crush is marrying a straight-laced banker, he sets out to destroy their relationship and win her back. The Spoils is a deeply personal and probing comedy written by one of America’s most interesting writer-thespians.


“A worthy . . . contribution to the immortal gallery of black-hole masochists that stretches from Dostoevsky’s Underground Man to the dubious heroes of Richard Greenberg plays and Noah Baumbach movies. . . . While Ben would surely say The Spoils is all about Ben, Mr. Eisenberg has seen fit to surround his leading narcissist with characters who live and breathe and react independently . . . His clever, frantic dialogue assumes an irresistible authenticity.” —Ben Brantley, New York Times (NYT Critics’ Pick)

“Jesse Eisenberg has quietly established himself as an off-Broadway scribe . . . The Spoils is equal parts comedy and morality tale.” —Wall Street Journal

“Jesse Eisenberg’s new play is a triumph . . . In it he takes his familiar avatar to its logical conclusion, going from oddball to sociopath. . . . It’s rewarding to see Eisenberg fully commit to Ben’s craziness. . . . We can’t wait to see what he’ll do next.” —New York Post

The Spoils is Eisenberg’s best work to date . . . A strangely compelling look at young New Yorkers struggling to achieve their professional ambitions and hold on to their personal identities and values.” —Matt Windman, AM New York

“[A] terrific, fast-talking, quick-witted serious comedy . . . beautifully written . . . Eisenberg writes funny, but he is also a real storyteller—moody and dangerous and even loving.” —Newsday

The Spoils isn’t just a moral play, it’s also a comic one . . . crackling dialogue and tête-à-têtes. The banter packs a solid dinner party’s worth of wit and poignancy.” —EntertainmentWeekly.com

“The dialogue sounds absolutely authentic . . . with just the kind of running jokes a group of smart friends would have.” —Philadelphia Inquirer

The Spoils quickly grabs our interest and sustains it. . . . Eisenberg has created an intriguing and provocatively emotional group of characters.” —Huffington Post

“Ben is both repellent and riveting. He’s a self-dramatizing tragedy: a terror and a pity.” —Time Out New York

“Eisenberg proves himself an astute chronicler of millennial misery, satisfying a dramatic craving we didn’t realize we were having until the lights went down. It’s refreshing to see a play that speaks to this generation of young people.” —TheaterMania

“Rings achingly true for anyone who’s grown up in a distorted prism of wealth . . . There’s a rawness that pulsates through both acts of this tautly constructed play that makes for a thrilling experience . . . [A] brutally funny and deeply moving work.” —Chris Kompanek, Huffington Post

“The perfect balance of humor and heartbreak. Jesse has a very unique set of skills both as a talented writer and a talented actor. Mostly you will have one or the other. He has both.” —Kunal Nayyar


A New York Times Critics’ Pick
Winner of the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation Theatre Visions Fund Award